Perceptions of sexual harassment amongst university students : a case study of the South African Military Academy

Daniels, Peter Isaac (2002)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2002.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Tertiary institutions worldwide as well as locally have investigated sexual harassment on their campuses. This was done partly because of the negative consequences of sexual harassment on students and staff, particularly their work performance. Incidents of sexual harassment reported at universities range from rape and sexual assault to threats and sexist remarks by lecturers. When researching this phenomenon, difficulty is normally encountered partly due to the uncertainty that surrounds this activity. This is because perceptions differ as to what kind of conduct constitutes sexual harassment. Research further indicates that there are gender and racial differences in the assessment of sexual harassment. The current study investigates the uncertainty, gender and racial differences that exist regarding sexual harassment at a specific university campus. By means of a survey the perceptions of students regarding these three issues were determined at the Faculty of Military Science, a satellite campus of the University of Stellenbosch. With the utilisation of statistlcal packages, frequencies and statistical differences amongst the various sub-groups at the campus were determined. This was done in order to compare these findings with those of other universities who conducted similar sexual harassment surveys on their campuses in South Africa. It was found that no clear idea of what constitutes sexual harassment exist amongst these students. In particular women in the survey consistently viewed more incidents as contributing to sexual harassment than men. As oppose to other findings, Blacks registered a more conservative attitude when assessing whether certain incidents can be viewed as sexual harassment. The above was found notwithstanding the differing social context, especially the socialisation process and the fairly rigid codes of conduct, that students at the Military Academy are exposed to.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Verskeie tersiêre instellings, wêreldwyd sowel as plaaslik, het seksuele teistering op hul kampusse ondersoek. Dit was deels gedoen as gevolg van die negatiewe gevolge wat hierdie aktiwiteit op studente en personeellede het, veralop hul werksprestasie. Gerapporteerde insidente by universiteite wissel vanaf verkragting en seksuele aanvalle tot dreigemente en seksistiese opmerkings deur dosente. Probleme is ondervind tydens navorsing oor die verskynsel wat deels toegeskryf kan word aan die onsekerheid wat hierdie aktiwiteit omhul. Dit hou verband met persepsies wat verskil ten opsigte van die soort gedrag wat seksuele teistering teenwoordig. Navorsing wys verder daarop dat geslags- en rasverskille bestaan by die assesering van seksuele teistering. Die huidige studie ondersoek die onsekerheid, geslags- en rasverskille ten opsigte van seksuele teistering by 'n spesifieke universiteitskampus. Deur middel van 'n opname word die persepsies van studente rakende die drie kwessies bepaal by die Fakulteit Krygskunde, 'n satelietkampus van die Universiteit van Stellenbosch. Met behulp van statistiese pakkette, word frekwensies en statistiese verskille tussen die verskillende subgroepe op die kampus bepaal. Dit was gedoen ten einde in staat te wees om die bevindinge te vergelyk met die van ander Suid-Afrikaanse universiteite wat seksuele teistering opnames op hul kampusse gedoen het. Daar word bevind dat geen duidelike idee van wat seksuele teistering behels bestaan onder die studente nie. In besonder word bevind dat vroue in die opname deurlopend meer insidente aanslaan as seksuele teistering, as mans. In teenstelling met ander bevindinge, registreer swart persone 'n meer konserwatiewe houding wanneer bepaal word of sekere insidente seksueel teisterend van aard is, al dan nie. Bogenoemde was bevind desondanks die eiesoortige sosiale konteks waarin studente hulself bevind, veral die sosialiseringsproses en die redelike streng gedragskodes, waaraan studente van die Militêre Akademie onderwerp word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/52991
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